It is the question I get asked most often: “Who do I contact to become an ambassador?” Sometimes I am asked about the process to become an ambassador. Rarely am I asked about the process of how I became an ambassador. Almost never am I asked about what an ambassador does or what the responsibilities are or what the word really means. Ambassador has become a “catch phrase” that is overly abused (on both sides) with people who have great intentions (most of the time) but not necessarily the best motives. And while I cannot really give a lot of in depth discussion on the reasoning behind why so many companies are now creating ambassador programs or why so many people are becoming obsessed with becoming an ambassador of ANY company, I can share with you my experience and how I became an ambassador of the company that seems to rock everyone’s boat when they see it on my website or resume. Ambassador:(as defined by Google) a person who acts as a representative or promoter of a specified activity. That’s a pretty general definition for what I consider a very huge responsibility. Reference.com, in its definition, defines ambassador as a diplomatic official of the highest rank. They said some other stuff in relation to government but this is exactly how I feel about it. It’s not that I want to be the “highest rank” as much as a company is trusting me to the highest level to deliver its message to those around me, their consumers, their community, my colleagues, my students, my clients, my co-workers, my community. I take that VERY seriously.
Currently, I serve as an ambassador for FitFluential, Sweat Pink, Institute of Integrative Nutrition, Love Grown Foods and Under Armour. These are companies and organizations who absolutely rock my world. My relationships with each one differ. How I relate to each one is different. FitFluential and Sweat Pink have connected me to an AMAZING community of fitness and health enthusiasts as well as brands (many of which I have shared on my blog) and helped me spread my message as well as our collective message. Love Grown Foods is a new ambassadorship (like this month) that I am super excited about because their products are fantastic and innovative and, let’s face it, you canNOT beat oatmeal and love. If you know me then you KNOW that has “Tasha” written all over it. I am 2010 graduate of Institute of Integrative Nutrition and what I do as an ambassador is help prospective students with their transition into the school, admission question or answer any questions for prospective students. And IIN was one of THE best decisions I’ve EVER made.
But everyone wants to know….how in the world did my non-athlete self get hooked up with Under Armour and who’s the contact and how can they apply?
Here’s the deal. Under Armour had NO ambassador program before my group came along. We were the first.
I was working on the Under Armour “What’s Beautiful” campaign through FitFluential. That campaign touched my soul. I had applied to work with it before but was not accepted. I was still new to it all. This time I was and I was ecstatic. I was given the opportunity to share “What’s Beautiful” (redefining the female athlete) with my crew here in Huntsville, Alabama. As a woman who has NEVER played an organized sport and was ALWAYS picked last for teams in gym class, this was awesome. I knew I had something to share. I knew there were women who felt like me and needed the opportunity to show they were strong and to be told they were strong and to be backed by a well-known company that was willing to say, “Hey!! We see you! No, you DON’T have to look like this or do THIS sport. YOU ROCK and we honor that!” I didn’t sleep for weeks. I went into full-planning mode. That two-day event (we connected close to 20o people!) may have the pivotal point in my career. I’m going to say it was because I’m actually crying tears as I type.
My ambassadorship arose out of my belief in what the company stood for. When I hashtag #IWILLWHATIWANT, I BELIEVE IT! When I tell people the best way to be noticed by a company is to do what you do and do it well, they think I’m being funny and trying to keep the company to my self. Not true. There are STILL companies I want to work with and I use the same approach. There are also ambassadorships I have turned down because the company was not a company that reflected my beliefs. All ambassadorships are not good fits. All ambassadorships are not good. We have to be discerning about what message we are sending out when we have that “title” behind our name. It has to be about MORE than a title. It’s not about getting “free product” (another misconception). It’s about connecting and sharing so more people hear the message that is your work. Health, fitness, self-love and wellness are my ministry. And working with these companies have helped me connect with more people. Win. Win.
Before you “go there,” think about why you want to be there. Search your motives. Research the company. Think about your overall message. Follow the companies on social media. Actively engage with them. See how they work. And decide from there.
You have the power. Use it but use it wisely.
Are you an ambassador for a company? Which one? What’s been your best experience?